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Album Review: Rebel Yell - Hired Muscle

19 June 2018 | 4:25 pm | Christopher H James

"Hired Muscle is loaded with enough heft, chutzpah and creativity to destroy both eardrums and unsuspecting dancefloors."

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So what comes to mind when you think of Brisbane and surrounds? Bris Vegas? Sea World? Endless pristine views along the Gold Coast?

Grace "Rebel Yell" Stevenson may be about to change all that with her uncompromisingly bleak industrial-flavoured techno. While Stevenson cites the likes of Underworld and The Prodigy as influences, she has far more of an affinity with the dark analogue electro of Dutch icon Legowelt.

Lead single High Authority makes for an excellent induction into her murky world, with its dehumanised vocals, visceral bass line and filthy, corroded cymbals that sound like they probably bleed oil when struck. Next Exit is among the more obvious dancefloor-friendly heavy tools with its rhythmic breathing and metallic bass that demands your subjugation.

The only major blot on an otherwise industrial-strength debut LP is the Sam Smith-like vocals on Stains, as currently there's no greater cliche in electronic music and this reviewer for one can't wait for that particular bandwagon to roll off a cliff.

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Overall though Hired Muscle is loaded with enough heft, chutzpah and creativity to destroy both eardrums and unsuspecting dancefloors.